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If you combine the words Georgia and golf, one place will automatically pop into your head: Augusta. But even when we probably will not have the opportunity of playing there, or in other majestic courses like Pine Valley, there are still some stunning public courses that will take you to the next level.
Places like Sea Island, Reynolds Lake Oconee or Savannah give you tons of great options to take your clubs for a walk, with courses designed by the best golf course architects in the world.
Take a look at the list we have prepared in order to find the course that suits you best!
Best Golf Courses in Georgia
Imagine playing on a sunny island, with some infinite views of the horizon and the sound of the ocean. That’s the feeling you will get when playing in the Seaside Course of Sea Island.
This resort counts with three courses, Seaside, Retreat and Plantation. From both of them, it is more recommendable the former. Nine holes from The Seaside course were originally designed by Harry Colt and Charles Allison in the 20s, and the other nine where built in 1970 by Joe Lee. Finally, in 1999 they were updated by Tom Fazio, making the course what it looks like today.
Apart from the magnificent sea background, this links-style course has some interesting holes, such as the 4th, a dogleg hole quite tricky, especially if you play it too safe. Another distinctive feature are the big bunkers throughout the whole course.
The driving range, really close to the ocean, and the great clubhouse and friendly staff will make you be absolutely comfortable at all times. If you want to stay close to the courses, the resort offers some luxurious accommodations as well.
As you probably have guessed by now, rates are not cheap, oscillating between $150 and $300. However, the experience here is worth every penny!
If you go to the website of Reynolds Lake Oconee, you will probably want to leave whatever you may be doing and head directly there. Playing golf surrounded by a sparkling lake, with a golden sunset which gives the greens a warm orange colour… This is something that you can experience in this huge luxurious golf community, which counts with six courses and a total of 117 holes, designed by the best ones: Nicklaus, Fazio, Cupp, Jones and Engh.
The best one of this series is, in our opinion, the Jack Nicklaus designed course, called the Great Waters. Opened in 1992, this track takes great advantage of the Lake Oconee, playing with it in 9 of the last 10 holes, more times than any of its neighbour courses. While the first 8 are more about interior fairways and forests, during the 9th you start glimpsing the lake from the elevated tee, to end up with the challenging and stunning back nine.
An absolute must play for anybody visiting this outstanding resort.
Just after its neighbour Great Waters, the Oconee offers an intense and challenging and risk-rewarding course along the lake.
This Rees Jones designed course offers wide fairways, perfectly maintained greens, challenging doglegs and beautiful and well put bunkers, all of it with the constant company of the relaxing waters of the lake Oconee.
It also counts with a great set of par 3s, with multiple water hazards and elevated tee shots; and the lake comes into play in five of its holes.
Aside from golfing, you can end your day by trying the fantastic restaurant the clubhouse has to offer.
The golf packages start at $230, including accommodation, one round per day, a special discount for replays, cart rental and breakfast.
We continue on the Lake Oconee, where we find this course designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, which opened in 1991.
Playable for golfers of all levels (it counts with 6 sets of tees), this award-winning course counts with a perfect mix of hills, lakes and creeks, and its 17th hole is said to be one of the best short holes in Georgia: a par 3 with a tee shot over the lake that was intended to emulate the 12th of the Augusta National.
Apart from this signature hole, other five holes play along the lake, and it also counts with some great par 4s, which will reward risky players if they demonstrate good skills.
In a nutshell, Harbor Club is a great option for escaping the crowds of other better-known courses, and enjoy a top class club with all the amenities you can imagine: a huge clubhouse with a fine restaurant, quite complete practice facilities, a pro shop, a tennis and swimming centre, and a children playground. All for rates which vary between $130 and $150.
Finally, we arrive to Savannah, a city with strong ties to the history of golf. The club at Savannah Harbor offers a delightful southern experience, with a well-manicured golf course, friendly and attentive staff, and services such as driving range and an award winning pro shop, a luxurious spa, a fitness centre, tennis courts and a great restaurant.
Designed by Sam Snead an Bob Cupp, this course counts with some extremely good conditions, with fast greens, wide and rolling fairways, and practicable for everybody. The course is fun and somehow forgiving, however, its openness makes it really windy sometimes, which will add some excitement to your round.
One hole to remember can be the last one, named “The Wormsloe” remembering Savannah’s first plantation. It is a par 4 with a tricky approach shot, with a well defended green.
The prices are not cheap, but absolutely reasonable if we take into account the full experience we will have here. However, you can find interesting discounts in golf sites, such as Golf Now. Do not forget to do some research in the web!
This old 18-hole course is located in the college town of Athens, only one hour drive from the capital of Georgia, Atlanta. Opened in 1968, and designed by the classic architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., it offers a great deal of challenge, with the typical Trent Jones characteristics: rolling hills, well-placed bunkers and large and undulating greens.
With rates around $50, this is probably one of the cheapest golf courses of Georgia, but, unexpectedly, its conditions are top-notch. The only drawback here can be the pace of play, as it should be quite crowded in high season.
We return to the Reynolds resort to continue with another of its great courses – The National.
This 27-hole course was designed by legendary architect Tom Fazio, and has three nine-hole layouts: The Ridge, Cove and Bluff.
More naturally grown than the top courses of Great Waters and Oconee, The National is less greenish and lush, however, its more than 100 dramatic bunkers, the undulated terrain and the multiple water hazards make it quite a challenge for even the most expert golfers.
Some great holes also here, such as the par 3s of the Bluff layout (especially the 4th and the 7th), or the 9th of the Ridge, a par 4 with tremendous bunkers protecting the green, a lake and some houses as background.
Going back to the St Simons Island, we find ourselves with another great course in the same resort than the Seaside track, the first of our list. The Retreat course was originally created in 1974 by Joe Lee, however, it had some drainage problems as time went by. Finally it was redesigned by Davis Love III and Mark Love, his brother, in the year 2001.
The Love brothers did a great job, and blended the players’ preferences from Lee’s original design, created a playable yet challenging course with a great variety of shots and holes. A good example of this is the 6th one, a green designed in the Biarritz style, with a deep gully in the middle.
A fun course for players of all skills, which will make you stay creative and eat your brains out in some interesting and diverse situations.
This Jack Nicklaus-designed course is located in the city of Suwanee, in the outskirts of Atlanta. It is said to count with the best collection of holes from the legendary golfer, and to offer almost a private-club experience, including forecaddies -something really rare in public courses.
Great elevation changes make this course quite fun and challenging, while not having one weak hole. To name one, take a look at the 14th: a tough par 5 with a dogleg left, to end up with a well-protected green, including a great bunker.
Its fees range from $90 to $110, with an extra of approximately $25 if you add the forecaddie, and offers a fantastic driving range and practice facility, a clubhouse and locker rooms.
To finish off our list, we have to mention this resort located in the town of Adairsville, in the north of the province. If you want to escape from the luxurious tracks and enjoy a more rustic, genuine and relaxing round in the natural surroundings of northern Georgia, this is a tremendous choice.
Designed by Jim Fazio, this course is known by having a great set of par 3s, with the 14th as the signature hole. This breath-taking downhill hole is probably one of the best of the whole state, playing over a water hazard.
Although this course is not as luxurious as others we have seen, do not forget to wear the proper attire: golf slacks, skirts or shorts and collared shirts.
If hungry, you can also visit the Woodlands Grill or The Rice House, both located in the golf course.
As we have seen, Georgia offers plenty of possibilities for hitting some balls. Whether you look for some luxurious and private course experience, or something a bit more natural and modest, this state has great choices for playing your top game.
Do not forget to try some of them and come back to let us know what you think!